Are women rights really important? Womens journey to (almost) equality

Imagine a world where you would wake up and watch all the boys go to school and all the men go to work, while you stayed home and your only purpose was to cook and clean. Where you probably would not get to go to school and if you did you would have to risk your life to get there. Where you would see books scattered around your house and want to read, but you don’t know how and you would never learn. Imagine a world where you would be deprived of so many basic rights just because you were a female. This is what our world was once like. Upset? Disappointed with the world? Me too, but women and their rights did come a long way. I am going to teach you about women's history and how they got to be where they are today.

Good news before you hear the cold hard truth: WOMEN HAVE COME SO FAR!!!!

Have you ever wondered what it was like to be a woman in the past? Now’s your chance to find out! Don’t be too disappointed when you find out it wasn't exactly the ideal life. Let’s start from the very beginning, the 1800s when women had scarce rights. I am going to tell you all about three aspects of rights that women had, political, economic, and social rights. Let’s start with social rights, back then women had very little social rights. Women were considered weaker than men and seen as less superior to them.

The biggest problem with women's lack of social rights was the fact that, as stated in thedevelopmentofwomensrights.com they were stuck in the cult of domesticity. Let me guess, you’re wondering, what is the cult of domesticity? The cult of domesticity is an opinion about women in the 1800s. There were four qualities they believed women should represent:

1. More religious than men

2. Pure in heart, mind, body, and soul

3. Submissive, or ready to agree and be obedient, to their husbands

4. Willing to stay at home and do work

5. It’s hard to believe that is what our world was once like.

Anyway, back to their rights. After hearing about women's social rights you must be curious to learn about women's economic rights. I know I was. Women also had VERY little economic rights. While women were at home their job was to cook, clean, and take care of their family. According to thedevelopmentofwomensrights.weebly.com in the early 19th century teaching became a possible job for middle class women. They were also allowed to work in factories as seamstresses. These jobs paid a very low salary, but they were happy because they could leave their house, which gave them a little more independence.

Another huge aspect of women's rights was their political rights. In the early 1800s women started taking part in reform movements - movements to make gradual change. In the mid 1800s, women started to wonder why they couldn't vote. If you read thedevelopmentofwomensrights.weebly.com you will learn that the first movement for women's suffrage took place in 1848, New York. I know you must be very curious about women's suffrage, but I promise I will explain more about women's suffrage in detail later. Anyway after this rally, many people still refused to give women the right to vote. They believed women were less intelligent than men and they could not make good political decisions like men. After this rally women were ignited on this idea of equality, they wouldn't back down until they got the right to vote. This ended up being very true. They tried three different approaches until they finally managed to get the right to vote.

Women taking action!!!

And now the moment you’ve been waiting for… I’m going to tell you all about the women's suffrage movement. First of all, if you have not figured this out already the women's suffrage movement is the movement in which women were fighting for the right to vote. Let me continue to talk to you about the three approaches they tried. The first approach was to travel to each state and persuade them to give women the right to vote. Some states agreed but the majority refused, so that didn’t work.

The second approach was to present cases to the court and share their ideas about women’s suffrage. They said many important things such as “we are citizens just as much as men, and we deserve the right to vote,” and “We bring all the voters into this world, we should be able to vote.” Even with all this reasoning some men refused to take them seriously and give them the right to vote. There was even a cartoon that was using comedy to suggest Susan B Anthony was of equal importance as George Washington, they must feel pretty silly now because George Washington was once known as America's “forefather” and Susan B Anthony is known as women's rights “foremother.”

Even after all these setbacks, they persevered and tried one final approach. They went straight to the constitution and pushed for a change so women could earn the right to vote. This continued to fail but they kept trying until they reached their goal. Expert Robert Cooney, the director of the women's suffrage media project, says “the women's suffrage campaign was one of the most successful nonviolent campaigns in the world.” If you read this article from mith.umd.edu you will learn all about the three approaches. This campaign lasted over 72 years but in 1920 we all realised the result was worth the wait. They ended up earning the right to vote for half the population. Those determined women enfranchised half of America's population! There is so much everyone can learn from them...

Now is your chance to learn from the inspiring women who fought for women's rights. Along the way of their campaign they said some truly amazing things that we all need to hear. Let’s start off with the wonderful words of Susan B Anthony. One of her many inspirational sayings includes “Independence is happiness.” This played a major part in the constitutional decision to give women the right to vote, because this made them realise how much independence mattered to women. Another moving saying of hers is “I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of a man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand.”
Another leading women's suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton worked tirelessly for women's rights. One thing she had said was “The best protection any woman can have… is courage.” This meant a lot to women at the time because in this time period they really needed encouragement like this. In this time period the constitution kept shutting them down so this made them inspired to keep trying. Another one of her uplifting sayings is “all men and women are created equally.” This convinced woman no matter how many times they fell they had to get back up again because they had to fight for equality between women and men. As you can see, both of these women's have said some very heartwarming things.

You’ve probably heard that women's rights have come a long way, that’s true. You may have also heard that women's rights are important, that’s also very true. Perhaps you’ve heard that now women have equal rights to men, well I say this sadly but this is not true. We still need feminism, for various reasons. First of all we need feminism because of women's health. You may be thinking, what does feminism have to do with women's health? I’ll tell you. Women are twice as likely to suffer from anxiety and depression as men. WHY? Because of the problems in society they face because of gender inequality. Mental health problems like depression and anxiety can lead to physical health and mental problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and stress. So now you see that women's health has a lot to do with feminism.

Another reason why we still need feminism today is equal pay. Some people think women already have equal pay, but that is far from true. The sad truth is for the same job, every dollar a man makes, a woman makes 78 cents. The same job! We need to keep feminism around until this problem is fixed.
The third and final reason why we still need feminism today is because of females in developing countries. Most westerners say feminism has achieved all its goals with education. Many girls in developing countries don’t get an education and some of the ones who do, had to risk their life to get it like Malala Yousafzai.

In this article from Bustle.com you will learn more about needing feminism. Now you see that even though it seems like women have finally reached the top of the steep rocky mountain that is equality, really they have just started climbing it.

Now you know all about how hard women worked and how motivated and motivational they have been. You have learned just have far they have come in receiving rights and why we still need feminism today. If now, you’re not convinced that women deserve equal rights, nothing will convince you. Next time somebody tells you that women have equal rights, teach them about all you have learned, because the next generation will help make a difference in achieving women's rights just like the empowering women did in the 1800s. It's hard (and sad) to believe that after all that women have been through we still don’t have equal rights, but as Elizabeth Cady Stanton once said “the history of the past is but one long struggle upward to equality.”

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